It’s my last evening in Broome and I finish the way I started with a swim at Cable Beach.
It’s been 43 years since I first came to Broome much has changed but something remain.
Like Sun Pictures, the outdoor cinema that has been in operation since 1916.
But the cultural aspects have expanded.
Art and Street Art abounds
Reflecting the history and character of the town.
Old building have been repurposed.
The old sail makers shed now part of the museum. Housing a collection of then and now photos.
Mmm 1978, yes that’s when I was last here!
And it’s the Kimberley so big Boad trees in the streets.
But its not perfect.
Somedays a Crocodile decides to put a stop to swims at the beach.
But at festival time there is music in the streets
Tomorrow the Steinbock will be loaded and I start the trip south.
Western Australia, is a huge state, about 1/3 of the Australian Continent.
It’s nearly 3000km to Perth, the states capital, and a further 3500km across the country to my home town of Melboure.
So Broome I’m sad to leave but there is more country to see.
Leaving Halls Creek there were sights to see but I had my heart set on Broome.
A stop at the big Boab on the side of the road.
It 43 years since, as a young man, since I was last riding a motorcycle up in north Western Australia, the Kimberley.
The road was unsealed and rough then.
Remnants of the old road still exist. Including the old corrugated iron shed that was the garage.
When I had some bike problems all those years ago. The owners let me use a corner of the workshop to replace the head gasket on my Norton Commando!
Finally Broome and the end of the Savannah Way crossing the north of Australia from the Pacific to the Indian Oceans.
And swim at Cable Beach. My first swim in the ocean since late June in Queensland.
With its Camel Rides,
And the Stairway to the Moon.
Given Western Australia’s covid free status and Broome’s beautiful weather it’s crowded and I had to camp 25km out of town for a couple of nights.
It was a good place to give the Steinbock a wash.
In company with the bush birds like this little Sparrowhawk
Now I have a room in a hostel in the town of Broome which is in the throws of its annual festival, the Shinju Matsuri.
But more on that next post.
Wave Hill is the town where fight for aboriginal land rights took a first decisive step with the Wave Hill Walkoff
I have been reminded that 23 August 2021 is the 55th Anniversary of the Wave Hill Walkoff.
I didn’t go all the way out to Wave Hill
After the hot dusty Bungle Bungles I was after a cold spring to soak in and such places existed on the road from Halls Creek to Wave Hill.
The first spring was Palm Spring just off the Wave Hill road.
The swimming hole was deep and cold just perfect to refresh the body.
I was going to set up camp there but a couple of locals, who had come out for a swim suggested Sawpit Gorge a few kms north offered better camping further off the road.
As I say -local knowledge is the best knowledge.
So I set up camp on a flat area above the gorge and the spring fed stream.
It was near a full moon that night.
Which shone a silver light on the Ghost Gum I was camped under.
Making it a ghostly silver in moons beam.
I have spent a long time in the outback and at this point I was only around 600km from the west coast and the Indian Ocean.
My next swim will be in salt water having crossed the northern part of Australia from Innisfail on the Pacific Ocean to Broome on the Indian Ocean.
I will finish this with Paul Kelly’s musical tribute to the Wave Hill Walkoff.
I was running short of supplies to find a supermarket.
Nearest supermarket – 550km by mainly sealed roads or 334 by mainly dirt roads.
So it was back on the dirt roads again and refreshed by the healing waters of Boodjamulla it was time to make big distance.
A stop at Riversliegh (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riversleigh_World_Heritage_Area) the world heritage fossil site.
Through river crossings
And onto the city of Mount Isa.
Refreshed from my swimming at Boodjamulla is time was time to make miles.
Some Covid outbreaks in Queensland influencing my decision to get west while I could.
I covered the just over 1,600km to Mataranka hot springs a 2 and a half days.
Met up with some fellow bikers on the way
Joined up again with the beautiful Savannah woodlands
And celebrated being back in the Northern Territory with a soak in the hot thermal waters of Mataranka on a moonlight night.
And how could I resist a dawn swim!
The steam rising of the thermal water in the cool morning air.
Border entry into Western Australia is very strict with a requirement to be in the Northern Territory (classified covid low risk) for 14 days before entering.
Nitmiluk National Park was my next stop and where I have spent most of my current time in the Northern Territory.
My next few posts will cover this amazing piece of Australia.